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122nd Observation Squadron


With the United States' entry into World War II, the 122nd returned to New Orleans in December 1941 to conduct anti-submarine patrol over the Gulf of Mexico. Four missions were flown each day, the aircraft flying in pairs, as far as 100 miles out into the Gulf.

In February 1942, the Squadron was re-equipped with A-20 Havoc Attack Bombers and was deployed first to England as part of Eighth Air Force, then to North Africa as part of Operation Torch invasion forces in November 1943, assigned to Twelfth Air Force. The 122nd first landed at Fedala, French Morocco and participated in the capture of Casablanca. There, the squadron became part of the 68th Reconnaissance Group.

Several months later the A-20s were replaced by P-38 Lightnings, P-39 Cobras and P-40 Warhawks, and the unit was reorganized as a branch of the North African Fighter Training Command. In the summer of 1943, the unit was moved to Bertaux, Algeria, where members trained French and American pilots in navigation and general fighting tactics.

The 122nd was reassigned to HQ Fifteenth Air Force in May 1944 and was re-designated as the 885th Bombardment Squadron (heavy). Equipped with highly modified B-17 Flying Fortresses and B-24 Liberators, the unit transported supplies to partisans and engaged in nighttime special operations missions, flying into Occupied France, Fascist Italy, Yugoslavia and other parts of Occupied Europe supporting partisans and parachuting Allied Agents into enemy territory. Was inactivated in Italy in October 1945.


Part of
  • 15th Air Force

    15th Air Force

    The Fifteenth Air Force was one of two Strategic Air forces in Europe, along with the Eighth Air Force. ...

  • 68th Reconnaissance Group

    68th Reconnaissance Group

    The group was first established as the 68th Observation Group in 1941 at Brownwood Army Air Field, Texas, on 1 September 1941. Its primary mission was observation aircraft training and antisubmarine patrols. The group moved to several different U.S....

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  • 885th Bomb Squadron

    885th Bomb Squadron

    This squadron was equipped with B-17's and B-24's and was part of the 15th Air Force in June 1944, carrying out special operations missions. The unit transported supplies to partisans and engaged in nighttime special operations missions, flying into...




Date Contributor Update
25 December 2016 03:11:42 466thHistorian Created entry with type, category, name, description, air forces, aircraft types and unit encompassing associations